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Emilio-thumb.png Emilio Velis has been appointed the new Executive Director of the Appropedia Foundation! Read more...


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Direct and diffuse solar radiation (Practical Action)
Solar thermal energy. The sun is the source of the vast majority of the energy we use on earth. Most of the energy we use has undergone various transformations before it is finally utilized, but it is also possible to tap this source of solar energy as it arrives on the earth’s surface.

There are many applications for the direct use of solar thermal energy, space heating and cooling, water heating, crop drying and solar cooking. It is a technology which is well understood and widely used in many countries throughout the world. Most solar thermal technologies have been in existence in one form or another for centuries and have a well-established manufacturing base in most sun-rich developed countries.

The most common use for solar thermal technology is for domestic water heating. Hundreds of thousands of domestic hot water systems are in use throughout the world, especially in areas such as the Mediterranean and Australia where there is high solar insolation (the total energy per unit area received from the sun). As world oil prices vary, it is a technology which is rapidly gaining acceptance as an energy saving measure in both domestic and commercial water heating applications. Presently, domestic water heaters are usually only found amongst wealthier sections of the community in developing countries.

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Terraces and ditches at Petegral

Terraces and ditches at Petregal a Permaculture Demonstration Center in Oaxaca, Mexico.

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Community action news

AlleeImFruehling.jpg

Oct 15 Visions: The Sustainable Future Town of Your Imagination [1]

Oct 13 Don’t frack with us: meet the victorious activist ‘Nanas’ of Lancashire [2]

Oct 10 Community involvement UK news: Becoming Unstuck With Relational Activism [3]

Oct 3 Climate news 2019: What does Greta Thunberg's call for equity mean? [4]

Sep 19 Climate news 2019: For the sake of life on Earth, we must put a limit on wealth, George Monbiot [5]

Read More...


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Henry David Thoreau
For it matters not how small the beginning may seem to be: what is once well done is done forever.

Henry David ThoreauW
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Hot topics / In the news


Aleiha's parabolic solar cooker
In physics, energy is an indirectly observed quantity. It is often understood as the ability a physical system has to do work on other physical systems. Since work is defined as a force acting through a distance (a length of space), energy is always equivalent to the ability to exert pulls or pushes against the basic forces of nature, along a path of a certain length.

Sustainable energy is the provision of energy that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. Sustainable energy sources are most often regarded as including all renewable energy sources, such as hydroelectricity, solar energy and power, wind power, wave power, geothermal energy and power, biomass fuel and energy, and tidal power. It usually also includes technologies that improve energy efficiency.

While many renewable energy projects are large-scale, renewable technologies are also suited to rural and remote areas, where energy is often crucial in human development. As of 2011, small solar photovoltaic (PV) systems provide electricity to a few million households, and micro-hydro configured into mini-grids serves many more. Over 44 million households use biogas made in household-scale digesters for lighting and/or cooking, and more than 166 million households rely on a new generation of more-efficient biomass cookstoves.

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E215 Introduction to Design projects: This gallery lists some of the projects done by Engr215 Introduction to Design taught at Humboldt State University. All semesters taught by Lonny Grafman, unless noted otherwise.

Spring 2012: Friends of the Dunes

Design and build educational displays, technologies and infrastructure for the Humboldt Coastal Nature Center  
Fall 2011: Flock House

Design and build sustainable technologies for mobile art pods interacting throughout NYC  
Spring 2011: Locally Delicious

Design and build appropriate technology projects for children that promote healthy, local eating  
Fall 2010: HBCSL Somoa Hostel

Design and build eco-projects to support a hostel being designed at the Samoa Cookhouse  
Spring 2010: RCEA

Design and build energy education boxes, housed at Redwood Coast Energy Authority to build, for classrooms in Humboldt County  
Spring 2010: World Shelters

Design, prototype and improve structures by leveraging the resources of Haiti and World Shelters  
Fall 2009: CCAT and Network for a Healthy California

Design and build appropriate technology projects for CCAT and Network for a Healthy CA  
Spring 2009: WaterPod

Design and build sustainable technologies to educate and support artists living sustainably on a barge in NYC  
Fall 2008: Full Belly Project

Design and prototype adaptions to the Universal Nut Sheller  
Spring 2008: Discovery Museum

Design and build educational flume inserts for the Redwood Discovery Museum  
Fall 2007: HBCSL

Designing and prototype model hostel cottages for the proposed Humboldt Bay Eco Hostel  
Spring 2007: RCEA

Design and build energy efficiency displays for the Redwood Coast Energy Authority (Co-taught with Professor Eileen Cashman)  
Fall 2006: CCAT

Design and prototype educational, appropriate technology, infrastructure models  
Fall 2005: Interactive Energy Efficiency Displays

Design and build educational energy displays for the Redwood Coast Energy Authority  
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